Student Code Violation Process
The faculty, administration, and Student Government Association cooperate in the student conduct process. Student participation in the conduct process is by allowance and not as a delegation of ultimate authority or responsibility. This procedure, it is hoped, will aid the students of Mississippi College to be “judged” by their peers, according to and by the rules, regulations, standards and ideals of this institution, allowing them an opportunity to exercise “self discipline” to the fullest extent possible. (The Tomahawk, pg. 50)
Student hearing bodies include: the Vice President for Enrollment Services and Dean of Students, the Chief Judicial Officer, the Assistant Director of Student Life for Student Development, Resident Directors, the Men’s Affairs Board, the Women’s Affairs Board, the Student Judicial Council, the Campus Judicial Committee, and any other designee(s) of the Chief Judicial Officer.
1. The Office of Student Development receives an Incident Report from the Residence Life staff or the Campus Office of Public Safety and conducts an investigation to determine if student behavior merits charges of misconduct. (Student(s) involved may be issued a Summons Form to make an appointment with the Coordinator of Student Development.)
A member of the college community makes an allegation of misconduct against a student and the Coordinator of Student Development conducts an investigation to determine if student behavior merits charges of misconduct.
2. If a student is issued a Summons Form, he or she is required to make an appointment to meet with the Coordinator of Student Development. Failure to do so within one business day results in an automatic $100 Fine. If a student is not issued a Summons, the Coordinator of Student Development may contact him or her to set up an appointment.
3. Preliminary Hearing: Student meets with the Coordinator of Student Development to discuss the student judicial process, hear the allegations made against him or her, provide a written statement, and receive formal charges. At the conclusion of the hearing, student is given a Charge Letter that outlines both the charges against the student and when and where the Formal Hearing will commence. He or she is given the opportunity to enter a plea of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible.”
4. Formal Hearing: The body designated to hear the charges against a student depends on the nature of the charges. If the charges involve residence life, students will most likely attend a formal hearing with the Men’s Affairs Board or the Women’s Affairs Board. If the charges are more serious, the case may be heard by the Student Judicial Council, or by the Campus Judicial Committee. (The Chief Judicial Body has the delegated responsibility of determining which body hears each case.)
5. Hearing Procedures: (The Tomahawk, pg. 49)
- Hearings are normally conducted in private.
- The Complainant and the Accused are afforded the right to have an advisor present. However, advisors are not permitted to speak.
- The Complainant, the Accused, and the judicial body have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to cross examination by the judicial body.
- Written statements and other records may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the judicial body at the discretion of the chairperson.
- All hearings are recorded; the record of which is property of the College.
- No student may be found “Responsible” of charges simply because they fail to appear at the hearing, unless the student is charged with failing to obey a Judicial Summons. In all cases, evidence in support of charges is presented and considered.
- Incident Reports serve as official documentation to incidents involving MC students. Students have the right to contest information pertaining to them on the report; the right to present or provide information regarding their alleged conduct as stated in the report; and the right to submit information to contest their alleged actions or involvement.
- After the hearing, the body determines (by majority vote if the body is made up of more than one person) whether or not it is likely that the accused student violated the Student Code. If the student is found “Responsible,” the body recommends appropriate sanctions as listed in Article IV, Section B of the Student Code; these are approved by the Chief Judicial Officer.
6. Sanction Letter: The Chief Judicial Officer sends an accused student the outcome of his or her hearing and in the case of a “Responsible” finding, the Sanctions. Students are required to sign for receipt of their letters.
7. Appeals: Students may appeal the decision of their hearing body within five (5) school days of notice of the decision. Such appeals must be in writing and delivered to the Chief Judicial Officer or his or her designee. An appeal may be used for the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on actual evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code which the student was found to have committed, as well as, the substantiated considerations which may have also had a bearing on sanctions such as, but not limited to, past Student Code violations.
- To consider new evidence sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
9. Final Appeals: If a student disagrees with the decision of the Appellate Body, he or she may present a Final Appeal to the President of the Institution. He or she or a designee can determine whether or not to hear this Final Appeal. Should it be denied, it will be final. If the President or a designee finds reason to hear the appeal, he or she can do so, or remand the case back to the Appellate Body.
Minor Residence Hall Violations
The student judicial process for minor residence hall violations is markedly different from the process for major offenses.
The process is as follows:
- A Resident Assistant discovers a minor residence hall violation (see list below) and writes a student up for the offense.
- The Resident Director contacts the student and schedules a hearing.
- The student attends the hearing with his or her Resident Director.
- If the student pleads “Responsible,” the Resident Director issues a Sanction set by the Office of Student Development.
- If the student pleads “Not Responsible,” the issue is forwarded to the Office of Student Development and proceeds to a hearing body.
Examples of Minor Residence Hall Violations include but are not limited to:
- Unapproved Appliances
- Underage Guests
- Propping Open Doors
- Unapproved Pets
- Visitation Check-In/Check-Out Violations
- Public Display of Affection
- Quiet Hours Violations
- Lobby Violations
- Unclean Room
- Unauthorized Room Changes